In the latest of the ongoing provocations by Turkish media against Greece, pro-government newspaper “Turkiye” has called for a “blockade” of Greek islands in order to demilitarise them. The main article in the newspaper, which echoes the sentiment of the Turkish government, calls for blocking Greek ships from passing through the Straits of Bosporus, as well as imposing a military blockade of the Greek islands in the eastern Aegean.
The front page headline of the main article reads “Blockade of the Straits”, claiming preposterously that Turkey not only has the right to blockade the Bosporus Straits, but can also cut off Greek islands such as Lesvos and Limnos from communicating with mainland Greece because they have Greek troops stationed there.
The article cites reasons of “national security” and Turkey’s right to self-defence, in order to put pressure on Greece and include the demand of a demilitarisation of the Aegean islands in the agenda of talks.
With the recent crisis of Greece and Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean, and the threat by the EU of imposing harsh economic sanctions against Turkey if it continues its aggressive stance in the region, the issue of demilitarisation of the islands has become a “flag” for the Turkish side, with Turkey invoking international treaties and conventions.
Pundits believe Turkey will definitely try to put the matter on the negotiating table when the two sides agree on talks.
For its part, Athens has repeatedly clarified that the demilitarisation of the islands is out of the question. Recently, the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis from Thessaloniki, pointed out that: “There is no question of demilitarization of the islands” and that such an issue has never been the subject of exploratory contacts and will not be.